Podcasts are more popular than ever thanks to cultural sensations like Serial, but how are you supposed to listen to them? Apple’s Podcast app got off to a rough start and isn’t the best choice. But for years, outside developers have been filling the void and producing stellar podcast apps with a ton of useful features. Whoever you choose can say as much about you as what shows you subscribe to.
At a bare minimum, these apps should help you find new podcasts that suit your tastes and save you the hassle of subscribing, downloading new episodes, and creating playlists for your commute or commute. everywhere you listen. But the best of the bunch goes way beyond those basics and adds other perks that can save you time, improve audio quality, and more. There are dozens of podcast apps to choose from on iOS, and it can be hard to narrow the list down. But in the end, there is only one better choice.
If you have an iPhone, the best podcast app is Overcast. Its clean, simple and tasteful design is easy to use and never gets in the way of what is most important: the listening experience. Best of all, it has some really cool features that dramatically improve that experience.
Smart Speed ââeliminates moments of silence and dead air wherever they exist in your podcasts, which can dramatically reduce overall playing time. This saves you precious minutes and possibly hours; when you look at the Overcast settings menu to see exactly how long; you will certainly be surprised. Another feature, Voice Boost, normalizes the volume at both ends of a conversation so that no one is too loud or too quiet. Podcasts aren’t always created equal when it comes to production values, so this can be a big help in saving your ears. If you’re the type who prefers to listen to your shows in time lapse, Overcast’s audio engine delivers the most natural results we’ve heard. While some other gamers may make it too obvious that you are handling speed, Overcast manages to play shows faster without sacrificing quality.
Power users can create playlists with custom smart filters, configure show-by-show preferences, or set a sleep timer if you listen to a podcast before falling asleep at night. And when it comes to discovering new shows, Overcast will incorporate recommendations from Twitter and also bundle new podcasts and established hits into useful âstarter kitsâ that you can subscribe to with just one click.
The only real limitation of Overcast is that you can’t stream podcasts on the fly; the entire episode must be downloaded before pressing the play button. It can be frustrating at times, but it also ensures that you won’t be bothered by unexpected pauses or buffering. The app is available on iPhone and iPad, and a barebones web player is also available for your laptop. Overcast also offers one of the best Apple Watch apps we’ve ever seen. With it, you can quickly start playing a new show from your wrist, recommend an episode, and access Smart Speed ââand Voice Boost settings. Coupled with Apple’s Now Playing peek, this is a pretty handy setup.
You might be able to get by with the free version of Overcast, but we highly recommend paying $ 4.99 to unlock all of its features. It’s been constantly updated since it launched last year, and you can expect the support to last a long time. It’s not something we can say for every podcast app in the App Store.